Xbox Game Pass to see ‘a lot more indie game announcements’

Independent developers can benefit from subscriber audience, says ID@Xbox EU head

Microsoft will make “a lot” of announcements regarding independent games coming day and date to Xbox Game Pass, ID@Xbox’s European lead Agostino Simonetta has said.

So far 125 independent developers have released their games on the Xbox subscription service and Simonetta claimed it’s a great way for developers to gain an audience they otherwise might not have.

“The exciting thing about Game Pass is you can deliver your game to a wide audience who maybe wouldn’t have gone out and bought your game anyway. But because it’s part of their subscription, they are more than happy to try your game,” he told VGC.

“For example, 40 per cent of the people who played [Curve’s] Human Fall Flat as part of their Game Pass subscription had never played a puzzle game on Xbox before. That gives you an idea: almost half of their players probably would never have bought the game.”

Game Pass subscribers are willing to take more risks on new types of games, Simonetta said, and ID@Xbox titles can also benefit from the large “blockbuster” titles on the service.

“If you have a Netflix subscription, you might go in for the blockbuster but you’ll then start watching documentaries and stand-up comedy,” he said. “I’ve never bought stand-up comedy, but suddenly through my subscription I can experiment.

“Game Pass offers the same opportunity, to present to people games that people might not go out and buy in big numbers, but they’ll be excited to experiment with and try.

“And I’m sure that those 40 per cent of people who tried Human Fall Flat are probably now more than happy to take a risk and try more puzzle games in the future.”

Simonetta added: “You can expect further announcements down the line and a lot of announcements from the ID@Xbox team about titles that will release day and date on the programme.”

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Launching later this year, the service will combine Xbox Game Pass with Xbox Live Gold membership in one subscription package.